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Author Topic: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?  (Read 12891 times)

tinjaw

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Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« on: January 04, 2008, 01:11:07 PM »
A friend of mine called me today with a question about Vista. He is installing MS Office and his anti-virus software and he claims that everything is taking up twice the space it does on his XP computer. I told him it sounded just like Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, felt it was a security enhancement to shadow all of the files "for enhanced security". Can anybody verify that my guess is correct?

Crush

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 02:17:13 PM »
I think it´s not Vista, it´s the installer. I removed today my $Installcache$ - everything there was a copy from the installed files - rather useless.

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 03:17:33 PM »
Unless he is using Windows Vista Ultimate with the shadow copy feature, no, Vista isn't doing this. Only Ultimate makes shadow copies. The programs may have to apply additional patches for Vista or something. :-\

MrCrispy

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 05:48:35 PM »
Shadow copies are only made for data thats changed, and only when you create a restore point. So no, its not like Vista is making duplicate copies of your files.

f0dder

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 06:02:12 PM »
A lot of installers for download-from-the-web applications tend have the first "setup" simply extract the next set of setup files to some location, and then you run the setup from there to actually install the app.

Another thing that might be causing this could be Vista's use of NTFS Junctions... at least on international copies. Ie., on Vista you always have "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files", and the international name (like the Danish "Programmer") is just a NTFS Junction redirecting to "Program Files". This doesn't take up extra space since it's a redirect, but software that doesn't know about Junctions would obviously show both folders and probably report 2x the size.
- carpe noctem

Stoic Joker

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2008, 11:35:33 PM »
Shadow copies are only made for data thats changed, and only when you create a restore point. So no, its not like Vista is making duplicate copies of your files.
Not quite. A restore point is (just that) a restore point. Shadow Copies are tied to the previous versions tab in the file properties dialog, and are created automatically (once a day) by the OS for any file that has been changed.

This feature is also available in XP, but only for files stored on Server 2003 network shares as it's a server side only implementation (e.g. ALL Shadow Copies are stored exclusively on the server)

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2008, 01:49:10 AM »
I've read  that in the "low-end" Vista versions you cannot use/access the Shadow backups, and you also cannot stop them from being created.  A lot of bloggers have complained that it takes up a fair amount of disk space for an unusable feature.

Jim

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2008, 11:56:39 PM »
I've read  that in the "low-end" Vista versions you cannot use/access the Shadow backups, and you also cannot stop them from being created.  A lot of bloggers have complained that it takes up a fair amount of disk space for an unusable feature.

Jim

The "low end" versions (non Business/Enterprise/Ultimate) do not make Shadow Copies. The feature is not installed into Windows. Not sure where that came about :huh: (I would notice if, when I installed Crysis, suddenly 12GB went lost into space instead of 6). Disk Cleanup also says, "In some versions of Windows Vista, the disk might include file shadow copies..."

Even the official Windows Vista website states that...
Quote
Windows Vista includes a useful innovation to help you protect your data: Shadow Copy. Available in the Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions of Windows Vista...

And still, even if you were using Business/Enterprise/Ultimate, you could simply go into Disk Cleanup, hit the More Options tab, and click the Clean Up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies, to clean all but the most recent restore point and all shadow copies.

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2008, 02:34:25 AM »
wreckedcarzz:

Unless Microsoft has changed this with an update, ALL versions have Shadow copies.  That's how Vista creates System Restore points.  However the "Previous Versions" feature - which allows you to access those backups is grayed out in Home Basics and Home Premium.  They re only accessible in Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate.  Here's a couple of links that state this:

<a href="http://www.pcpitstop...ews/dave/2007-04.asp">http://www.pcpitstop...ews/dave/2007-04.asp</a>

And this is on the <a href="http://cquirke.space...91.entry?_c=BlogPart">Vista WishList on Chris Quirk's Blog</a>:

"3:  Hidden "previous versions" data

Some editions of Vista do not include the "Previous Versions" feature, and yet the underlying engine continues to generate and maintain these, even though there's no UI to use them.

This is not only wasteful in terms of performance, battery life, global warming etc., it also poses a privacy/security risk.  If someone upgrades the edition of Vista to one that does include the "Previous Versions" feature, then previous versions of data files become available, even though these were spawned before the edition of Vista was upgraded.

In my opinion, editions that do not include the "Previous Versions" feature should not create and maintain multiple previous versions of data files (i.e. over and above NTFS's transaction logging and rollback) and should not expose these after an edition upgrade. "

 
Jim

jgpaiva

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2008, 05:18:19 AM »
 :huh: :huh: Crazy stuff... And there's no way to stop windows from doing shadow copies?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2008, 07:12:12 AM »
It must be possible to stop the VSC service and set it to disabled.

Turn off System Restore too and use an incremental backup solution if you want regular snapshots of your system.

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2008, 04:06:58 PM »
It must be possible to stop the VSC service and set it to disabled.

Turn off System Restore too and use an incremental backup solution if you want regular snapshots of your system.

I believe Carol is correct. The only way I can find to stop VSS is to shut off System Restore.  If you can't afford Acronis True Image to use in place of SR, then give DriveImageXML a try.  It's free and it has gotten good write ups.

Jim

tinjaw

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2008, 05:18:22 PM »
I'm thinking it is due to System Restore. I asked him to turn that off and see if it frees up the space. I will report back.

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2008, 05:38:44 PM »
I'm thinking it is due to System Restore. I asked him to turn that off and see if it frees up the space. I will report back.

Oh, it definitely is - that is how Vista does its System Restore.  Like Carol recommended, using Acronis or DriveImageXML instead of SR can eliminate the shadow copies, but I think that only helps future ones.  I din't know of a way to delete those that are already created.

Jim

Lashiec

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2008, 07:03:36 PM »
If it's like XP, there's a way ;D

PPLandry

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2008, 08:39:52 PM »
I'm thinking it is due to System Restore. I asked him to turn that off and see if it frees up the space. I will report back.
I don't know about Vista, but XP system restore is MS best invention (to compensate for buggy software). So many times, my system became corrupted in some ways, did a system restore to an earlier point, and everything was fixed, magically. My 4 year-old PC is still in it's original installation (no re-install), and it is solely due to system restore.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 02:40:37 AM »
I'm thinking it is due to System Restore. I asked him to turn that off and see if it frees up the space. I will report back.
I don't know about Vista, but XP system restore is MS best invention (to compensate for buggy software). So many times, my system became corrupted in some ways, did a system restore to an earlier point, and everything was fixed, magically. My 4 year-old PC is still in it's original installation (no re-install), and it is solely due to system restore.

Yes, but you can do the same and more with a good imaging application, like Acronis or DriveImageXML.

For example, with System Restore you can't restore only certain settings or files.  Acronis TI 11 allows that.   :)

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2008, 02:41:30 AM »
Plus the fact that you can also delete any past images with the imaging programs. You cannot do that with System Restore without losing all.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2008, 04:10:12 AM »
doesn't switching off SR delete all of its accumulated rubbish - it does on WinXP. It would make absolutely no sense whatsoever to keep all the shadow copies of files if SR is switched off. Not only does it waste space but there is no way to rebuild the restore point using that data when you turn on SR again as the original restore point set will have been deleted.

If you are not sure use Disc Cleanup to remove all but the most recent restore point before switching off.

app103

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 04:21:31 AM »
doesn't switching off SR delete all of its accumulated rubbish - it does on WinXP.

I am not sure if this is true for XP & Vista, but in the very first Windows OS to have SR (WinME), after turning it off and rebooting, it does clean it out.

And as long as it is turned off, you can even delete the restore folder. If you ever turn it back on again, it will just recreate it and start filling it again when a new restore point is made.

Can anybody confirm if it will allow you to delete that restore folder on XP & Vista?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 04:32:56 AM »
Not sure on XP April as I don't seem to have any restore folders (I think they were automatically deleted when I stopped using System Restore). Certainly all the restore point data is deleted when you stop System Restore on XP.

Lashiec

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 01:26:21 PM »
Remember that the folders storing the data from restore point are hidden and not accessible to the current user, you have to set up the options to view them, give yourself permissions and look carefully which folder are you going to delete (if you have two drives, like me, and the OS installed in one of them, and you formatted one of them, you can see more than one. The same thing happens with the Recycle Bin, BTW). Use the creation data as a guide.

I wonder if lowering the percentage of space used for restore points in the applet controlling that to 0% would delete everything (I'm not trying... ;D)

steeladept

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Re: Is Vista Creating Duplicate Files of Everything?
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2008, 02:55:57 AM »
Can anybody confirm if it will allow you to delete that restore folder on XP & Vista?

Not necessary.  I just turned it off (Since I use TI9 anyway, I hate when I forget little things like that on "new installs") and recovered 2.1GB of space.  It apparently deletes it automatically, at least that is what the popup box says.  It also can not recreate those points and has recycled the space as free, so even if it doesn't delete it, it is effectively the same.  The only reason I can see to go further would be if you needed to shread it, but then you need to use other tools for that.